Monday, 8 December 2008

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety

Armoire by Andre-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), late 17th century.
Ebony, bronze; inlaid with various woods, tortoiseshell, copper, and tin.

This armoire is considered a masterpiece of the Hermitage collection. Inlays of tortoiseshell and metal, the technique which was to become known as boulle work, set off panels of exquisitely executed floral marquetry. Made after a drawing, by Boulle himself, which is now in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.

Louis XIV chinoiserie boulle work cabinet on a later stand, late 17th century-early 18th century formerly owned by Coco Chanel.
Sotheby’s New York - November, 2005.

A 19th century French boulle work side cabinet, hipped rectangular veined marble top above a deep frieze and a rectangular cupboard door centred by raised oval panel, typically decorated overall in brass and tortoiseshell marquetry with scrolling foliage, urns and strap work, applied with female masks, scrolls and floral bosses, shaped base, c.1840.

Late 19th century boulle work ebonised cabinet with gilt mounts.
Undoubtedly, examples like this are the Madame Bouvary of antiques - desperate to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Yet, not without a certain charm.

Now playing: Richard Kiley - To Each His Dulcinea (To Every Man His Dream)
via FoxyTunes


Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

I'll take Chanel's, thanks. But right now I have to go shovel snow, so the delivery men can get that lovely object down my driveway without harm.

Pigtown-Design said...

you were cheered and toasted at lunch yesterday. the books were a HUGE hit!

the quarter rat said...

I love Boulle-work, but in the New Orleans climate it pops off if you so much as open a window. I also love your category Madame Bovary antiques - it should become common usage.

The-Countrypolitan said...

These pieces are really don't do them justice... but I'll take them, thanks.

Terri... TheCountrypolitan.blogspot